Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
August 16, 1951

The Baptist Question -- No. 2

Thomas Allen Robertson, McLean, Texas

In a former article we set forth some of the basic objections that a Bible student would urge against the generally accepted beliefs and teachings of the Baptist church. We wish to consider still further particulars in which Baptist doctrine differs from clear Bible teaching.

The Baptist Church teaches that a child of God (one who has been born again, saved by the blood of Jesus Christ) cannot so sin as to be finally lost. But the Bible speaks of some who had "overthrown" the faith. (2 Tim. 2:17, 18) Can a man be finally saved who has overthrown the faith? Then we read of those who "made shipwreck" of the faith. (1 Tim. 1:19) Can a man be saved with a faith that is wrecked or destroyed? Further, we read of some who "shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils." (1 Tim. 4:1) Can such hope for eternal salvation.

In response to these scriptures some Baptists teach that such men were never in the faith. But can a man "depart" from a thing in which he has never been? Paul says of certain ones, "Ye are fallen from grace." (Gal. 5:4) Can they fall from grace when they have never been in grace? Consider that: (1) the Bible warns against falling, (1 Cor. 10:12); (2) it tells how to keep from falling (1 Cor. 9:27); and (3) it tells what to do when one does fall! (Acts 8:22) In spite of these plain teachings, Baptist doctrine teaches that it is impossible to fall. Who can believe it?

Hereditary Total Depravity

Baptist doctrine is that children are born into this world "utterly void of good, positively (wholly) inclined to evil."

Contrary to this vicious doctrine, the Bible teaches that children are safe. (Matt. 18:1-4) Man was made "upright"; his spirit came from God, not from the devil. (Eccl. 12:7) "Shall we not much rather be in subjection to the father of our spirits and live?" (Heb. 12:9) Is God the father of a depraved spirit? The Bible teaches that men GO aside; and that they BECOME filthy. (Psa. 14:2, 3) If men are born in sin, and then "go" aside and "become" filthy, where do they go, and how can they "become" that which they already are?

Again, the Bible teaches that the devil "seduces" men. Could the devil seduce a totally depraved man, one born in sin, "positively (wholly) inclined to evil," or would not that kind of a man be more likely to seduce the devil! The Bible teaches that evil men shall "wax worse and worse." (2 Tim. 3:13) How can a man who is wholly evil to start with wax "worse and worse?"

The Worship

The Baptist Church offers that as worship to God which is not authorized. For one thing, instrumental music is common in most of the Baptist sects (although not in all of them). But the teaching of the scripture is that we should "sing" with the spirit and with the understanding (1 Cor. 14:15), should speak to one another "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord." (Eph. 5:18, 19). The Lord's Supper is observed by Baptist churches at varying intervals—yearly, monthly, quarterly, depending on the particular sect and the circumstances. But the early Christians met together "on the first day of the week to break bread." (Acts 20:7) That was the purpose of their meeting on that particular day, and they offered that worship to God just as often as the first day of the week came around. They were exhorted not to forsake the assembling. (Heb. 10:25).

Founding Of The Church

It is Baptist teaching that John the Baptist founded the church during his personal ministry. But the Bible teaches that it was Christ, not John, who built the church. (Matt. 16:18) It was prophesied that the gospel would go forth from Jerusalem in the name of Christ. (Heb. 9:16; Luke 24:47) And as a matter of historical record, the church did actually have its beginning in the city of Jerusalem. (Acts 2) John the Baptist never did start the church of the Lord; he did not even start the Baptist Church. He started no church.

Let it be noted that "Baptist" was not John's name, but his work. He was not "a" Baptist, but "the" Baptist. He was called such because of his work; he was a "e;baptizer," one who immersed people. John started no church, and belonged to none. He was beheaded by Herod many months before Christ started his church. All efforts made to identify any "Baptist Church" either with John or with Christ are vain and futile. Some time ago Baptist scholars issued a new translation of the New Testament. So intent were they on emphasizing the proper action of baptism, that they always translated the word "baptize" by its English equivalent of "immerse." John was called "John the immerser!" This version was later taken off the market because Baptist preachers discovered to their horror that their scholars had completely taken their "name" away from them! They then brought out another version which continued to translate "baptize" with the word "immerse," but when they came to John the Baptist, they left the "Baptist" in there to protect a false doctrine! Oh, the trouble and the inconsistency of trying to keep a false teaching alive.

Saved Out Of The Church?

A final Baptist error we shall note has to do with the church. It is accepted Baptist teaching that one can be saved out of the church; that faith in Christ saves one, and this happens before and apart from his membership in the church. In contradiction to this, the Bible teaches that the church is the saved body. (Eph. 5:23) and that the Lord adds to the church daily "such as should be saved." (Acts 2:47) One cannot join the Lord's church; the Lord adds him to it. And he adds every man on exactly the same conditions: faith in him (Heb. 11:6); repentance of sins (Acts 17:30), confession of faith (Rom. 10:9, 19); and a burial with him in baptism. (Rom. 6:1-4; Gal. 3:27; Acts 22:16). On these conditions the Lord saves, and on the same conditions he adds to the church. There is simply no such thing as a sinner being "saved," and then later "joining" the church.